Cut to the Humor

Posted February 23, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Humor

Tags: , , ,

Humor:  The quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech; a mood or state of mind.

growing

We Are Growing! is a beginning reader written and illustrated by Laurie Keller. Some people (adults) may not find this book humorous. Kids certainly will. I, an adult with a child-like sense of humor, find this book hilarious! The main characters are seven blades of grass and one weed that grow. If you can’t see the humor in grass and a weed growing, then you don’t know Laurie Keller and her work. Ms. Keller’s artistic expression shines in the distinctive personalities she gives to each of her characters. To further convey humor, she incorporates various elements – onomatopoeic words, speech bubbles, and superlative forms of words used by the main characters to describe themselves. And then there are those cute little bugs that make an appearance. When the blades of grass realize they’re growing in very different ways, they each find a quality that makes them exceptional in one way or another. Only one blade of grass can’t decide what he is. Time is of the essence because there is a loud buzzing noise headed for the grass. (The horror of it all!) Don’t worry. In the end, all turns out well. With spare text and repetition, this is a perfect book for beginning readers, but don’ let the simplicity of it fool you. This book is as much for adults as it is for children. Kids will see it as silly, and if you’re an adult, subliminal layers of humor are there for the taking. Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie characters give this book a great send-off and an “end-off.” As Elephant and Piggie say, “This book is the FUNNIEST!”

By the way, Laurie Keller’s book We Are Growing! won the 2017 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader. Who’s laughing now?

 

 

 

Grouches and Kindness

Posted February 16, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , ,

Today, February 16, is Do a Grouch a Favor Day and tomorrow, February 17, is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. The two days pair up perfectly. We all know someone who is a grouch. It could even be you! Some days that grouch factor hangs around and you can’t seem to “shake it off” like Taylor Swift says.

More than ever, we need random acts of kindness. It doesn’t take much. A simple smile or a word of encouragement may be all someone needs. Kindness doesn’t cost anything. You’ll be richer for making an effort, and your investment in kindness will grow. So if you see someone who looks like they could use a smile, give them one.

Each kindness makes a grouch and the world a better place.

Check out these picture books that demonstrate the power of kindness. Read them. Share them. Live the message.

 

stick

Stick and Stone written by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

kindness

Each Kindness written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis

 kiss

Plant a Kiss written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

rabbit

If You Plant a Seed written and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

 hensleys

Something About Hensley’s written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

 amelia

Because Amelia Smiled written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

boy 

The Invisible Boy written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Patrice Barton

 

 

 

 

An Egg Surprise

Posted February 9, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , ,

On this snowy, blowy, waiting-for-a-foot-of-snow morning, I have the perfect book that whispers the hint of spring and new things to come. Keven Henkes is a talented and prolific writer and illustrator who has received many prestigious awards for his work. In January, his newest picture book, Egg, was released.

egg

The story begins with four eggs. There is one pink, one yellow, one blue, and one green. Three chicks crack out of their eggs, but the last green egg remains unhatched. The chicks wait and wait until their curiosity gets the best of them. They “peck-peck-peck” until it cracks open and they find out what’s inside. It’s not what the chicks expected. Using a combination of single words, repetition, and wordless pages, Henkes crafts a  story of surprise, uncertainty, and eventual friendship. Words and engaging pastel illustrations are sure to delight children as they easily read along with this satisfying story.

 

 

Black History Month

Posted February 2, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Black History Month

Tags: ,

February is Black History Month. It’s a time to honor the accomplishments of black Americans and the and contributions they have made to our country.

Below are some wonderful nonfiction picture books to read and share.

congo  

Freedom in Congo Square written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

freedom

Freedom Over Me written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

fannie

 Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

 marcher

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

 chickens

Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis written by Jabari Asim and illustrated by E. B. Lewis

 mahalia

Martin and Mahalia: His Words Her Song written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney

 blackbird

Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of  Florence Mills written by Renee Watson and illustrated by Christian Robinson

cornelius

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurrican Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleanwritten by Phil Bildner and illustrated by John Parra

james

My Name Is James Madison Hemings written and illustrated by Jonah Winter

America has a rich history of accomplishments made by African Americans and by many others who are a part of our diverse population. That’s what makes this country so great!

Do You Have the Grumpies?

Posted January 26, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: , , ,

Have you ever had one of those days when nothing seems to go right? It’s raining and you have no umbrella. You’re late for work. You forgot your lunch. You find yourself asking, “Why me?” Step back, take a deep breath, and read Grumpy Pants written and illustrated by Claire Messer. It’s a sure thing to put a smile on your face.

grumpy

Penguin is not having a good day. He’s in a very bad mood and doesn’t know why. He tries to shake off his grumpiness, but nothing seems to work. Then he has an idea, and very slowly he begins to feel much better. Don’t let this book fool you. You’ll delight in sharing it with young readers. It’s a perfect pick for two to five-year-olds. Messer’s illustrations are adorable, and the text is presented in a large font. Everyone will enjoy the hilarious antics as Penguin finds a way to get rid of the grumpies!

The Youth Media Awards Are Just Around the Corner

Posted January 19, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: ALA Youth Media Awards

Tags: ,

The American Library Association Youth Media Awards will be announced on Monday, January 23 at 8:00 a.m. ET (http://ala.unikron.com/2017).  Click here to see the list of awards that will be presented.

If you love children’s books as much as I do, this is a very special day. During the year, it’s exciting to see which newly published books receive a lot of chatter. There are so many fabulous publications, choosing a winner in each category must be a difficult task.

The Caldecott and Newbery Medals are two of my favorite awards. I followed these closely during the year as new books and new predictions came out. Of the books I’ve had the opportunity to read, the ones listed below are those that spoke to me in a special way.

Caldecott Medal

They All Saw A Cat illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel

Du Iz Tak? illustrated and written by Carson Ellis

Freedom in Congo Square illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and written by Carole Boston Weatherford

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles  illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by Michelle Cuevas

Newbery Medal

Raymie Nightingale written by Kate DiCamillo

Pax written by Sara Pennypacker and illustrated by Jon Klassen

The Seventh Wish written by Kate Messner

Paper Wishes written by Lois Sepahban

Win or lose, I’m looking forward to hearing what surprises will be announced this coming Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

Say Goodnight

Posted January 12, 2017 by cathyso3
Categories: Poetry

Tags: ,

Have you ever had one of those weeks where time seems to disappear and you just can’t catch up? If it’s not one thing, it’s another. Each night as bedtime approaches, you can barely keep your eyes open. But there’s still one more thing on your to-do list.

Bedtime story!

Will you be able to achieve all your youngsters’ expectations of a bedtime story, or will you fall asleep between the pages? Never fear! When you need it the most, I have the perfect bedtime book for you to share.

bedtime

One Minute till Bedtime:  60-Second Poems To Send You Off To Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt and illustrated by Christoph Niemann is the go-to book when days aren’t long enough.

This book is chock-full of whimsical, funny, and delightfully appealing poems written by a host of well-known authors. Think Nikki Grimes, Jack Prelutsky, Jon Scieszka, Judith Viorst, Verla Kay, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Jane Yolen, Lemony Snicket, J. Patrick Lewis …  I could on and on naming the amazing people who are contributors, but time is of the essence. Once you open this book and begin to read, you won’t want to put it down. In a flash, you and your youngster will be captivated!

Say goodnight!

 

 


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